Volunteers salvage doors, windows, fixtures from home before demolition
MACOMB — There may not be much curbside appeal to the house at 422 E. Washington St.
But inside, local volunteers from Habitat for Humanity have found a treasure trove of solid wood doors, paneling and lighting to salvage.
When plans were made to demolish the two-story home to clear the way for new economic development at the adjacent and former Niemann Foods County Market, Paul Fisher, of McDonough County Habitat for Humanity, said his organization called its national headquarters and then talked to the city to ask if the home’s fixtures could be removed and preserved for future home renovation projects.
The city approved, and volunteers arrived July 2 and got to work.
“They thought it was a worthy cause and knew what we were about,” Fisher said. “They said you can go in and take anything you want that you think you can use before we tear the house down.”
Since last week, Fisher and four other volunteers have been carefully removing ornamental wood, windows and lighting by hand. So far, they have removed 19 interior doors with their hinges still intact. Each is solid oak and still has a skeleton key hole and dead-bolt lock.
Numerous base boards, also solid oak, along with two oak pedestals, pocket doors, stained glass windows and chandeliers have been removed and preserved. Fisher said the chandeliers have spring-loaded fasteners that hold the glass globes around the lighting in place.
Fisher said the house dates back to the early 1920s and he believes all of the fixtures are original.
He said the stained glass windows will be going to the McDonough County Historical Preservation Society. He also said Habitat for Humanity is also considering selling some of the lighting fixtures online.
He also said the level of woodwork and lighting in the house is unique.
“You just don’t see that anymore,” Fisher said. “We’re just trying to salvage what we can. It’s a shame to knock it down and throw it away.”
Fisher and his fellow workers will be removing and salvaging fixtures throughout the house through Friday. Demolition is scheduled for Monday.
The house is located on the southeast corner of a lot that is next to the former grocery store.
In its place a new $6 million redevelopment project will be built. Haymakers, a new gas station and convenience store, and Pet Supplies Plus, an adjacent pet store that will include an attached laundromat called Wash-n-Win, will be constructed at the site.
Pet Supplies Plus and Wash-n-Win are scheduled to open this fall, and Haymakers is anticipated to open early next year.
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